Upon the battlefield


Conflicts and competition permeate commerce, and the global economic slowdown has made it all the more important to be ready to face increasing contention.

prologueSparks fly finds the intense market environment has set off an upsurge of China-related disputes – and fears of how best to resolve them. A wise resolution strategy has never been so important at a time when disputes are becoming more international as companies push ever further into the global market.

Arbitration centres in mainland and nearby hubs like Hong Kong and Singapore have been developing user-friendly mechanisms to secure their competitive edge. A growing number of international arbitrators are engaging the Asia Pacific region as well. Parties faced with so many options may be at a loss for which best suits their dispute. The report explores key points to bear in mind to get companies through this conundrum.

South America is home to emerging economies holding vital resources, and is prime ground for competition between global giants. China too is actively pursuing closer relations in South America, Opportune road reveals – top leaders promote greater business links during frequent visits. Investment possibilities differ across the region: agriculture, copper, oil and gas, infrastructure, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals are among the various sectors that may interest Chinese investors.

While a number of states, like Uruguay, are lauded for their relaxed legal environments, South America’s regulatory landscape is not all easy. Environmental controls in Chile and Columbia, labour protection in Peru, tax complexities in Columbia, tight regulation in Argentina and merger control in Ecuador are just some of the many compliance issues worth keeping in mind. And like any international destination, cultural and communications issues may undo a prize deal.

Competition in the telecom industry is among the fiercest. Finding balance features an experienced telecom expert – Peter Zhang, Sony Mobile’s general counsel in China. Businesses must keep pace with products and innovations, lest they become losers in a rapidly changing market. But compliance should also be a top concern as regulators worldwide grow more rigid. Zhang shares his insight on achieving the best possible compromise between the two. He also relays his views to legal grads on making the tough choice between a law firm, the court or an inhouse legal department.

Antitrust laws form the bulk of the competition norms that market players must follow. Competition law across the river looks at Hong Kong’s Competition Ordinance which goes into effect in December. The extraterritorial applicability of the ordinance means that companies from mainland, regardless of whether their business is in Hong Kong or simply has the potential to affect the market, will also be on regulators’ radar. The article analyses the most important aspects of the ordinance and compares it to its mainland counterpart.